Today I would like to introduce you to Gail Corder Wilson. I bumped into Gail (as one does) in a Facebook group and became instantly enamoured with her fairy sculptures. I am pleased to share her work with you today and share her story and let you get to know her better. Thank you Gail for joining us today.
About Gail Wilson:
Hello, my name is Gail Wilson and I am a polymer clay artist living in the great state of Kentucky in the United States of America. I am a wife and mother of two adult children and grandmother to one sweet baby boy. I am Kentucky-born and raised. I live in the small town of Stearns among lots of family and lifelong friends. My Appalachian heritage is something that I am proud of but my faith in God and love of family are number one in my life. Kentucky is known for its rich artisan culture from corn shuck dolls to beautifully woven baskets and so much more. I have always felt that I somehow sidestepped the expected, and took up the unexpected when I chose polymer clay as my go-to outlet for my art.
What’s the History of Your Art & How You Got Where You Are Today?
Although I have tried many other artistic avenues and crafty niches, polymer clay is the one that stuck with me. The first time I held a piece of polymer clay in my hand I just knew that polymer clay and I would have a lifelong friendship. Well, I was right! I have been working with clay and making my Fantasy Babies for more than 20 years and going strong! I first began my polymer clay journey in the late 90s. I’m a self-taught artist but have always been open to learning new and better ways by watching others and their techniques and ways that I could apply to my own original creations. I truly believe you are never too old to learn. I’m still learning!
What Makes Your Art Unique?
When I first began making polymer clay babies, I originally thought I would make more realistic babies but somehow whimsy took over and they became my Fantasy Babies! I think I have more fun creating the whimsical than I do the realistic. I am definitely the, “Why so serious” type of person…lol. My babies have definitely evolved through the years, for the better. I really can’t say what makes my babies unique to other artists work. I think my babies are as unique as I am but I think that is true of anyone’s original art.
Where is Your Art Created?
I only recently have been able to have my own studio. I have at some point worked in every room in my house but I now am blessed to have my own space to make a mess in, any time I want to. My studio is accessible to my house via my back deck so it is very convenient. Having my own space definitely helps my creative possibilities. But it seems that no matter how much space I have I could always use more!
What’s Your Favorite Thing to Do with Polymer Clay?
Of course, my favorite thing to do with polymer clay is to create my one-of-a-kind babies. I enjoy the fact that the sky’s the limit to the different babies I can create through life experiences and inspiration. However, recently I have been exploring making polymer clay jewelry and I have found that to be very enjoyable. I think it is good to have different avenues of interest. Keeping it fun is really my goal. No room for burnout here! No matter what other projects I take on it seems that my Fantasy Babies are always what I come back to.
What’s Your Process Like? Tell Us About It.
My process begins in much the same way as for other polymer clay artists I suppose. First, I condition my clay, usually flesh color, depending on my project, to make it more pliable and softer. I then section out my clay (without actually measuring) into different size pieces. I guess you could say that I have a recipe for my babies so they will always be the same scale or size which is about 1.5″ to 2″. Keeping in mind the kind of baby I am creating whether it will be a fairy, a mermaid, or one of the several other babies that I create, I then set out to make the body. I also make the eyes from white polymer clay and paint them. I make sure to have the color of eyes that I want to use on the baby that I am working on before I begin. I will then finish with wings, which I also make from fantasy film and wire, or maybe a hat or whatever is needed once the baby is cured but no matter what I do no two babies are ever exactly the same!
What’s Your Favorite Item and Why Did You Create it?
My favorite babies are my flagship creation fairy baby miniatures. The fairies have to be my favorites simply because they were my first ever Fantasy Babies. One of my other favorites is probably my Christmas Elves. My newest are my elephant babies which I also love. Mostly I just love the fact that they all make people smile.
Coal Miner Trolls
I must say that I have made several little coal miner trolls. Stearns, the town where I live used to be a coal mining community. Many of my family members, including my dad, worked for many years in several coal mines around our county. This little guy was inspired by my memories of my dad and so many more. That’s why they are sort of special to me.
Who is Your Polymer Clay Idol?
I can’t say that I really have any one specific artist that I totally look up to. I actually have many. I have watched many YouTube videos and I admire so many that I wouldn’t want to start naming them. I’d like to think that I am a sponge when it comes to learning new things from wherever and whoever I can. Like I said before. Never too old to learn!
Where to Find Gail:
‘m happy to invite you to visit my Etsy shop. I do have an option for customization in my order details. Be sure and stop by.
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